Police conference amidst complaints of misconduct

The State law enforcement would hold a conference of law and order officers on Friday to address complaints about police behaviour.

A top official told The Hindu that it was a special meeting to revitalise the department.

State Police Chief Anil Kanth would chair the conference. The police had recently come under fire from the High Court for impeding the process for penalising officers responsible for the violating Constitutional rights of citizens.

The High Court had found that a woman officer had wrongly accused a Dalit child and her father of mobile phone theft. It felt the police hierarchy had created barriers to holding the officer responsible for misconduct. The incident caught on camera had caused public outrage.

The parent had to run from pillar to post for justice. The police had protected the officer and merely assigned her to other duties. The court refused to accept the apology rendered by the officer.

Oppn. charge

The Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) Opposition had also attacked the police for “protecting the officer” responsible for pushing law student and dowry harassment victim, Mofiya Parveen, into desperation and, later, suicide.

It had organised protests in front of the Aluva police station demanding disciplinary action against the officer.

The UDF had also blamed the “overreaching power of pro-CPI(M) police unions” that rendered disciplinary action against errant officers almost impossible.

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan had pointed out that the accused officer in the Mofiya case had a chequered track record.

However, police union “satraps” had ensured that he got key law and order postings despite having drawn adverse remarks from supervisory officers.

The Congress had also highlighted the “police tendency” to side with accused persons against victims, chiefly women complainants.

Mr. Satheesan had said the old-fashioned patriarchal values appeared to guide the police and not the law. Women had to clear an exceptionally high hurdle to make themselves heard at police stations.

The conference could perhaps create a baseline for police conduct, accountability and citizen interaction. Law enforcement might consider harnessing technology to audit police conduct,including body cameras.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 9:15:36 AM |

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